As we wait for Mitt Romney's probable entry into Utah's 2018 U.S. Senate race, our "Political Insiders" say there's really no one who can beat him this year.

We asked our panel of Republicans and Democrats who they thought had the best chance of winning the seat being vacated by Orrin Hatch after 42 years. Not surprisingly, most of them picked Romney.

  • 89% of the Republicans who answered and 72% of the Democrats said the former GOP presidential candidate would win in November.

  • 11% of the Republicans and 6% of the Democrats who answered picked GOP State Representative Dan McCay. McCay is rumored to be considering a bid.

  • 22% of Democrats said Jenny Wilson was most likely to win, but none of the Republicans on our panel said she would be the eventual winner.

No other candidate was mentioned as a possible winner by our panel of experts.

You'll notice that Libertarian Craig Bowden was picked as the most likely winner by our readers. That was part of a concerted social media effort to skew the results of our survey in his favor.

 

Selected anonymous comments:

Next question -- will the sun come up over the Wasatch mountains tomorrow morning?

No one has a chance against Romney.

Everyone has already anointed Mitt before he even declares. It shall be done.

Dan McCay....bwahahaha. That’s funny. Oh...he thinks he’s legit? Bwahahaha!

Safest bet ever. Put me down for a grand.

Mitt has the name ID and resources to win. He will instantly give Utah credibility and be more powerful than our current junior Senator.

Jenny Wilson runs a good race that puts her in position to be City or County Mayor.

It's not an election, it's an anointing.

Mitt needs to be challenged by a woman, for no other fact that the young women in our state need to know they are the strength, power, and momentum that will move us all forward.

The anointing of Mitt is becoming a bit annoying. It would be nice if someone serious ran against him in the Republican Party simply because he's dragging it out to the point that it's almost embarrassing.

Mitt Romney has so much name recognition that unfortunately, it won’t even be close between him and Jenny Wilson.

It doesn't mean he's the best choice, but Utah is chomping at the bit to vote for Romney.

This race won't even be close. Romney will win with 68% to 71% of the vote.

Not sure Bowden is most likely to win, but that's who I want to win. All the rest are corporate shills and toadies.

I'm a Republican and despise Mitt Romney.

I know Mitt will win, his niece is had of the RNC. Even if this wasn't a state where he is wildly popular that factor alone would give him a huge advantage.

Why don't you simply ask "who will you most likely vote for"? I think Mitt Romney has a very strong shot at it, and I don't know the others at all except Craig Bowden because I am signed on as a Libertarian. So far, I don't see anyone on there who I would vote for rather than Craig. 

I think (whether it is good, bad or indifferent), Mitt will win. All the Republican challengers to Mitt should pull out of the race now and save the money and aggravation because any candidate (other than Mitt) that would stay in the campaign until the bitter end would probably have more ego than brains in the first place. The Democrats and the Libertarians don't have a snowball's chance. Let's get real here.

Romney is the only one who has a realistic chance. If he doesn't run, which is unlikely, it's hard to say, but not a Democrat.